The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

JM Stock Provisions Sold to Calder Kegley

Stock

Four and a half years after opening, Matt Greene and James Lum III have sold JM Stock Provisions. But, fear not. New owner Calder Kegley plans to keep the beloved West Main butcher very much the same.

Since opening in 2013, JM Stock has earned both a local following and national acclaim. In 2014, it made Eater’s Charlottesville Heat Map. And, in 2015, 2016, and 2017, one of the butcher’s products claimed a Good Food Award. A three-peat. Most of all, though, JM Stock has been known for its commitment to local and sustainable agriculture, and support of the Charlottesville community. With JM Stock, Greene and Lum aimed to help change the way Charlottesville eats.

Kegley shares those values. “I want to continue to support local farmers and producers,” says Kegley, “and showcase their products by making them accessible to our customer base.” After growing up on a farm in southwest Virginia, Kegley earned a degree in forestry and resource conservation from the University of Montana. When he returned to Virginia, he first worked at Timbercreek Farm, and then moved on to managing Deep Rock Farm, which has provided grass-fed beef to JM Stock for years.

To Greene and Lum, Kegley is the ideal steward. “Short of Alex and Benny, there isn’t anyone that more fully understands our mission or what it will take to continue to operate and grow the business without sacrificing our primary mission statements or principles,” says Greene. “Calder has been a long time friend, cattle farmer, and JM Stock champion since day one.”

And so, Kegley plans to build on JM Stock’s success, not change it. “Everything that our customers have grown to love is staying the same,” says Kegley, who will still source from local vendors like Autumn Olive Farm, River Oak Farm, Wolf Creek, and Free Union Grass Farm. Kegley is also keeping JM Stock’s knowledgeable and affable staff, including Alex Import and Ben Moore-Coll, who have been vital to JM Stock’s success. “I would not have been able to embark on this journey without the support of the incredible staff,” Kegley says.

Regulars should therefore anticipate the same service, the same products, and most importantly, the same ham biscuits, which, Kegley says, will soon expand from morning to all-day offerings. Other potential changes include designated customer parking spots out front and, eventually, daily lunch specials.

What’s next for the founders? Lum has his own Richmond business consultancy firm called Easy Co., focused on butchery, agriculture, and sustainable food. Greene meanwhile, who was a chef before he was a butcher, has returned to the kitchen as Executive Chef of Common House. “At Common House, I have brought with me the same local and ethical sourcing that we applied to JM Stock,” says Greene. “Being back in a kitchen feels right. I am a pretty good butcher, but at the end of the day, I’m a much better chef.”

It has been an incredible gift to open and build a business that helped to change the shape of food culture in Charlottesville. To watch Charlottesville as a community go from thinking that shopping at Whole Foods was enough to a community that actively engages and analyzes their food sources has been very powerful. As a whole this community challenged me and James to be better than we were, they supported us when we fell short, and they embraced us unconditionally. We are grateful and humbled for the opportunities we’ve been given in the last 4.5 years and are thrilled to see what the future holds.

–  Matt Greene, co-founder, JM Stock Provisions

Thank you to Matt and James for bringing JM Stock to Charlottesville. And, thank you to Calder for carrying the torch.

Calder

Ben Moore-Coll, Calder Kegley, and Alex Import.

Charlottesville’s Signature Dish Revealed

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Thank you, Charlottesville, for all of your help in our search for Charlottesville’s signature dish. It has been honor to work with three of our region’s greatest culinary minds on Charlottesville food past and present. Craig Hartman is the acclaimed chef-owner of The BBQ Exchange, who founded the restaurant at Clifton Inn, and has studied Virginia cuisine for decades. Dr. Leni Sorensen is the retired African American Research Historian at Monticello, who still lectures and writes on food history, and may know as much about our region’s food as anyone alive. And, Ira Wallace is the co-owner of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange who also serves on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming.

We began months ago with one question: among the great bounty our region has to offer, what dish distinguishes us most? We consulted menus, clippings, history books, and cookbooks by influential Virginians like Mary Randolph and Edna Lewis. We heard from chefs, home cooks, servers, historians, writers, consumers, local food enthusiasts, and more. And, while we have received many great ideas, there is one dish we never could escape.

In Charlottesville, ham biscuits are wherever you turn: from the humblest dives to the most sophisticated restaurants, and everywhere in between. We find them in country stores, gas stations, butchers, farms, church suppers, picnics, cookouts, weddings, funerals, coat pockets, and car seats. We eat them to celebrate, we eat them to mourn, and we eat them for no particular reason at all. Enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Charlottesville ham biscuit knows no boundaries – not race, creed, color, nor size of bank account.

Our region’s famous ham dates back centuries, which has allowed plenty of time for home and restaurant cooks to develop myriad ham biscuit recipes. On Monday April 9, please join us to sample just a few of them at a Community Potluck, as we come together to celebrate our region’s signature dish: the Cville ham biscuit.

Five Finds on Friday: Jim Winecoff

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jim Winecoff, chef-owner of Mona Lisa Pasta, Charlottesville’s favorite source of handmade pasta and sauces since 2002. The deli also offers pizza, sandwiches, salads, meats, cheeses, and more. And now, just in time for Easter, Mona Lisa has grass-fed lamb straight from Winecoff’s own Rolling Rock Farm. Details here. Winecoff’s picks:

1) Dry Fried Eggplant at Peter Chang’s. “This is the reason I go to Peter Chang’s, but I always find delicious food there. The crispy eggplant fries are creamy in the middle with just the right amount of spice – the perfect prelude to bang bang shrimp or eggplant in spicy garlic sauce.”

2) Fresh Oysters, French Fries and Sauvignon Blanc at Public Fish & Oyster. “It is so nice to sit at the bar and let them shuck oysters from around Virginia for me while enjoying hot salty fries and a cold citrusy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.”

3) Pate de Campagne at JM Stock Provisions. “Alex’s pate is the best! Crackers or crispy toasted baguette rounds spread with pate and perhaps a few cornichons and a glass of Barbera di Alba is all I need for a beautiful spring dinner. Matt, James and the boys at JM Stock make all kinds of excellent charcuterie and really know how to cut meat. It’s all local and delicious, and you gotta try the smoked pork chops!”

4) Financiers at MarieBette Café and Bakery. “These little almond ‘muffins’ are so good and perfect with my morning latte from Shenandoah Joe’s Dark Horse Espresso Blend. They are not too sweet, chewy with a sprinkle of fruit. All of their pastries are excellent and the breads too. I can’t seem to get past the counter and have never sat down for breakfast, at least yet.”

5) Fat & Sassy at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “I love this pizza/flatbread with roasted garlic, a sprinkle of cheese, and olive oil. It’s light and delicious. I make and eat pizza every day and still have to get my Fat & Sassy fix when too lazy to cook at home.”